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Leading the Classic

2/21/2009
James Overstreet

It's the first day of the Bassmaster Classic, and I'm leading. But I'll repeat the most important part of that. It's the first day.

Now that I've said that, I'll also say I'd rather be sitting where I am right now than anywhere else. I had a 20-pound, 3-ounce bag, and I was surprisingly the only person to get 20 pounds.

It's possible I might have my mother to thank for the 20 pounds today. She lives in Austin, Texas, and while she was out shopping the other day, she found a simple, inexpensive four-leaf clover. She thought I should have it. In fact, she was so sure I should have it that she overnighted it to me. I wore it on my belt today, and I think there's a pretty good chance it'll be there again tomorrow.

I like leading. You can never win a tournament on the first day, but you can certainly lose one. I did it last year at the Classic. Surprisingly, the best angler on our tour, >Kevin VanDam, did it today. He had 4-4, and I think it's safe to say Kevin's not going to win it this year.

Happy as I am to be on top now, things can change in a hurry. There are a bunch of big fish out there and somebody, maybe several people, might catch them during the next two days and jump up to the top. It's going to be a good tournament.

As for the fishing, it was a good day, but it was hard. There's not a lot of room to move out there. One thing we love about our sport is the way that spectators are able to watch us. But it's tough to maneuver in water like we've got on the >Red River. When you get a bunch of boats in the same area, it affects what happens in shallow water. The least little movement spooks the fish. So the next two days could be interesting.

Please don't get me wrong. We're glad people are interested. It's just a fact that a whole lot of traffic changes things.

I think one reason I had a good day is that I'm real comfortable river fishing. But there's one thing you've got to know about it. It's river fishing, so tomorrow it could be completely different than it was today. I think whoever wins will do two things. He'll get a big bite or two. And he'll make adjustments for the next two days.

Again, I'm glad to be leading. But it's just Day One.

At the end of the day I was standing in the hallway, leaning against the wall. I was a little tired, but I guess I looked relaxed, because a friend of mine walked up and said, "You don't look worked up at all. You look completely calm."

And he was right. I was calm and I am relaxed. And that's good. Because you've got to be a calm to win one of these things.

For more information on 2007 Classic champion Boyd Duckett, visit his Web site.